New Satellite System Will Replace Radar

Tuesday - 10/5/2010, 7:16pm EDT

Move over radar... it won't be long before that decades-old technology is replaced by satellites to track all aircraft in U.S. airspace.

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light for a full-scale, nationwide deployment of a new satellite-based surveillance system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast, or ADS-B. The technology has been successfully rolled out at four key testing sites.

The FAA says the system tracks aircraft with greater accuracy, integrity and reliability than radar-based systems. Controller screens update more frequently and show more detailed information, including the type of aircraft, its call sign, heading, altitude and speed.

Every part of the country now covered by radar will eventually have ADS-B coverage. Nationwide coverage is expected to be complete by 2013.